In the little black chair an idiot waits under the heat of the lamp.
The first few nights on stage the boy was oblivious of the audience, a blurry mass of heat and stillness. The only thing apparent was the lure of Didi and Gogo, their presence and sharp currents gripping the space. And when Vladimir asked “It wasn’t you came yesterday?” the child always hesitated, despite the impatient commands of a cranky director. It’s only now, thirty years later, that he doesn’t flinch as practice has swallowed whole the terror of what can’t possibly be known.
It’s a thing that can be seen in the dusty corner on the mantle piece high up when she stands on her chair looking over with mild curiosity. It appears in a series of utterances, movements or the draft that arrives from beneath the window. We pack it in salt and disturb it with rubbing alcohol, scrape it and gnaw at its layered gestures. In a series of absurd folds its light source is revealed and what is apparent again is that it has an animate nature, qualities of heat, reflectivity and porous mass. Various positions show it, here bending down prostrate with your back to the audience, there shaking the head violently, arms raised high in victory form. Or you can lay face down moving slow while you scan the ground, your very own system of support.
You can shout, hum, vibrate and spit as the form is yoked out of concealment. With the door cracked open, you laugh mad or loopy at the heavy machinery idling on the corner, strange heaps that moan in the background, a tepid rural stage -mixed with birdsong and ocean and coyotes from the valley. Digital recordings echo in the long room and images are rising here, hovering above the killing floor. They lurk and blur and begin to reject their substrate. Later in the day the sun cuts the air, making the forms transparent, racing in the visible spectrum. It’s possible now as the space is filled with tremors so that action and idea are simultaneous, each particle colliding in the way of hellhounds. On the peripheral of this room there is always movement and when your attention is focused the meaning is felt instead of interpreted. This is the beginning.
Sticks, rocks, rolls of steel fencing and rusted screens, wood blocks concrete shards, burlap, cotton rags, 5-gallon buckets, string, adhesives, crates, heavy rolling tables, and the boy’s chair all stained in ink, salt and alcohol. It’s only because I reach out to hold the material that I know it’s there in all four dimensions. I can press it against the surface or drag it or stuff it into a bucket of dark umber and Prussian blue then drain it and hang it up high from the roof beam and watch it drip, sag and slowly be rid of its moisture. Later it’s stiff, an arid skin, void of its original character and now showing a foreign quality, a vapory mirror or a thin screen that diffuses the fiery world behind it.
After the dress rehearsal I replaced the barren tree with the boy’s chair from the studio, the little one that I would sit on to make low marks on the larger works or instead use as a stepping stool to reach mid-range on the longer horizontals. A prop that became a tool and a tool that then became an appearance, one that is now always coming forth, ignorant of both the means and the end.
— Liam Everett
kamel mennour is pleased to present the second show by Liam Everett at the gallery. Born in 1973 in Rochester, New York, Everett lives and works in Northern California. He has had solo exhibitions at Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco; Eleni Koroneou Gallery, Athens; Office Baroque, Brussels; On Stellar Rays, New York; Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; and White Columns, New York. His work has been included in group exhibitions such at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Biennale of Painting, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium; Arndt Singapore; di Rosa, Napa; U.C. Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California; San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and 303 Gallery, New York. Everett has received the SECA Art Award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2017), the Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute (2013) and the San Francisco Artadia Award (2013). His new monograph, Without an Audience, published by Altman Siegel and kamel mennour, Paris/ London with contributions by Jenny Gheith, Jonathan Griffin, Hope Mohr and Liam Everett, is on display at the gallery.